Honey Green Tea: Nutrition, Health Benefits, Cons
Green tea is a popular drink all over the world. Green tea consumption may be associated with a reduced risk of death from many chronic diseases, although research on its protective effects is not exactly consistent (
This tea is often paired with honey to reduce bitterness and add sweetness for a pleasant hot drink. Honey may also offer some health benefits, including antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties (
This article covers the possible health benefits of drinking green tea with honey.
Green tea, when combined with water, is a calorie-free beverage that is packed with nutrients, such as polyphenols and minerals linked to many health benefits (
You can get green tea in caffeinated and decaffeinated form. Although everyone reacts to caffeine differently, research suggests that consuming caffeine in moderation may provide some benefits, such as better concentration, and may reduce your risk of chronic diseases (
Green tea and matcha — a variation of tea made from the same leaves — are high in antioxidants and other compounds that have been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases (
Drinking green tea can also reduce stress, which provides mental health benefits. This effect may be related to the L-theanine content of green tea (
Early research on L-theanine, a compound found in green tea and other plant foods, suggests it may reduce anxiety and stress, and it’s being studied for other potential benefits for mental health (
In addition to fighting stress, low-caffeine green tea has been shown to improve sleep quality, which may promote better overall health (
Drinking green tea offers a number of physical health benefits and may also provide mental health benefits, but more research is needed in this area.
Honey is a sweetener that has been used as a natural remedy in many cultures throughout history. It’s mostly carbs, and 1 teaspoon provides about 6 grams of added sugar and 21 calories (
Traditionally, honey was used to treat everything from throat infections and asthma to eczema and sores (
Research supports some of these uses, especially in the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections and eczema (14).
Today, honey – especially raw honey – is gaining attention for its antioxidants. However, it is unclear whether this antioxidant content provides any real health benefit (
Although honey may offer more health benefits than some other sweeteners, it is still sugar and should be consumed in moderation.
One study showed that honey has a similar metabolic effect on the body as white sugar and high fructose corn syrup, but other research in this area is inconsistent (
So when you add honey to your green tea, less is more.
The American Heart Association recommends keeping added sugar to less than 25 grams for women and 36 grams for men per day, and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting added sugar to 10% of your total calories each day. (
Honey is a caloric sweetener that brings added sugar to your diet. Although it may offer some small health benefits, it should always be consumed in moderate amounts.
Green tea and honey individually offer some possible health benefits, but together they can offer even more.
Green tea with honey can help reduce colds and flu symptoms
Hot tea and honey are known to relieve the symptoms of a sore throat. But drinking green tea with honey may provide more benefits than just soothing your throat.
Drinking green tea with honey could help manage symptoms and possibly even reduce the risk of colds and flu, but it’s unclear exactly how much you need to drink to reap any benefits.
Research has shown a link between tea catechins – a compound found in green tea – and lower rates of the flu, as well as fewer symptoms. Honey can also help with symptom management (18
However, remember that green tea with honey cannot cure any condition.
Evidence is mixed on how much green tea you need to drink to see symptom relief benefits. Some studies suggest as little as 3 cups a day, while others have tested the levels of catechins found in 10 cups of green tea (
Adding honey to your green tea can make it more palatable by reducing some of the bitterness, causing you to drink more, which can also help with hydration when sick.
Green tea with honey can be good for your teeth
It may come as a surprise that a sugary drink could provide benefits for your teeth, but new research suggests that drinking green tea with honey may reduce the risk of tooth decay.
A small study showed that drinking green tea and honey together reduced the bacteria Streptococcus mutans – a contributor to tooth decay – in the mouths of young boys (20).
Other older studies have suggested that honey may be better for your teeth than table sugar (21,
However, more recent research is needed to find out how much is safe to drink and if there is any real protective effect.
Green Tea with Honey May Help Diabetes Management
When it comes to blood sugar management, unsweetened beverages are best. However, a cup of green tea with honey may be safe — even helpful — for people with diabetes.
An older analysis of 17 studies suggested that green tea may improve insulin sensitivity and reduce fasting blood sugar and HgA1C, important blood markers of diabetes (
Additionally, several studies have shown that honey may be better than other types of sugar for people with diabetes (
However, more recent research is needed before we can be sure that honey green tea may have these benefits. We also need more research on how much green tea with honey is safe for people with diabetes to drink.
If you are living with diabetes, it is always recommended to limit added sugars, including honey.
Green tea and honey appear to offer many potential benefits, both individually and when consumed together. However, there can be too many good things.
Green tea contains caffeine. Most people tolerate caffeine well, but if you’re caffeine sensitive or pregnant, you may want to limit your intake to one or two cups a day. You can also try decaffeinated green tea.
The caffeine in green tea can disrupt sleep, so it’s best to limit how much you drink in the afternoon or evening, unless it’s decaf (
Additionally, it is recommended to limit added sugar intake to less than 10% of your daily calories, including honey. Pay attention to how much you add to your tea and how many cups you drink per day (
Green tea and honey both offer potential health benefits, and drinking them together may be even more beneficial.
Green tea is packed with antioxidants that can reduce your risk of many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. It may also provide mental health benefits.
Honey is a sweetener that has also been used for medicinal purposes in the past. It may offer some benefits for soothing sore throats and treating eczema.
However, be aware of both the caffeine and added sugar content when sipping this drink. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, stick to decaffeinated green tea or just drink one to two cups a day with a little honey for added flavor.